Get outside!

"In Australia and New Zealand, we have a very special and unique interaction with our outdoor spaces that often blur into our living areas, and for at least half the year act as an extension of our interior."

To any Northern Hemisphere folk reading this, apologies, but we are heading into summer here ‘Down South’ and it coincides with the lifting of restrictions, and honestly, we cannot WAIT to get out there! In Australia and New Zealand, we have a very special and unique interaction with our outdoor spaces that often blur into our living areas, and for at least half the year act as an extension of our interior. Accordingly, there is an intrinsic link between developments and inspirations that influence the interior space, and outdoor design is every bit as trend rich and responsive to fresh ideas and culture shifts that affect other aspects of design. There are some emerging currents we are beginning to see for ‘outdoor’ and we wanted to explore a few here in more detail - in readiness for the warm long days ahead.

Bold Colour is a big hitter for the coming summer. Perhaps it’s a move away from the safety of basic neutrals, or a desire to come out strong after such a long time indoors. Either way, here in the world of textiles, it is always really exciting when you see such colour confidence cutting right through the market. We are all real colour lovers here, but often it is easy to play it safe. No more! As evidenced by many of the fresh takes we are seeing in both our indoor and now outdoor offerings. You don’t even need pattern when you can layer strong, contrasting, and complimentary shades to great, vivid, uplifting effect.

Stripes never go out in textile design, especially for outdoor. They offer that lovely, rhythmic, grounding element to a scheme that can sit comfortably with a mix of plains, textures, and small and large-scale patterns. Now we find them in braver tones and more interesting shades than just a classic navy and white. There’s also the opportunity to mix scales and layer stripes together for bold results and a clean, modern aesthetic that doesn’t skimp on fun.

Boho inspiration is popping everywhere and can be viewed as a staple of design - the tactile surfaces, chunky weaves and traditional patterns inspired by travel and history add timelessness to a space, an easy elegance. Creating a relaxed vibe by injecting some boho flavour into your outdoor space can create a feeling of a retreat. As travel is still not on the immediate horizon, this is a chance to bring in the feeling of faraway spaces and places - a chance for a staycation. It’s also an opportunity to layer pattern together and move away from structured, considered design into a looser, more laid back sensibility.

And a last thought, there is ALWAYS a place of timeless neutrals in any space. Look at neutrals through a modern lens – seek out interesting textures and weaves to add depth, compliment textures together in varying dilutions of tone, or allow this gentle canvas to provide a background for accent cushions in bright tropicals, strong stripes, or joyful geometrics. This is such a simple way to amplify your outdoor room with interest and vibrancy, all underpinned with an elegant base that can be redressed in myriad ways.


Women in Design

People & Places

At Zepel we seek opportunities to engage and celebrate innovative initiatives in design. This doesn’t need to specifically relate to textiles, but any industry that appreciates furnishings, decorative art, and considers how they enhance and complement interior styling. We were immediately struck by this organisation designed for women seeking to tackle the building industry, BuildHer Collective. This innovative service provides easy to access online educational support, courses, blogs, pod casts, and 'one on one' advice for women that are undertaking building projects and major renovations. 

Their mantra of ‘we help women renovate, develop, and grow’ is immediately empowering, eliminates what initially feels like a confronting industry to approach, and instils confidence via their reassuring messages and accessible road maps.